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IN A RAID WITH THE FIFTH 
MICHIGAN CAVALRY 



By SAMUEL HARRIS 

Late 1st Lieutenant Co. A 5th Mich. Cavalry 



With Compliments of 
SAMUEL HARRIS & CO. 

Machinists' and Manufacturers' 

TOOLS AND SUPPLIES 

114 and 116 No. Clinton St. CHICAGO 




SAMUEL HARRIS 

Late Fir¬ęt Lieutenant Company A , Fifth Michigan Cavalry 
Born September 15th. 1836 



IN A RAID WITH THE FIFTH MICHIGAN 
CAVALRY. 

In the spring of 1863 to- clear the country east of 
the Blue Ridge Mountains as far south as Ashby's 
Cap of Rebels. 

The first day we marched about fifty miles and 
camped near a small village called Upperville. The 
next morning we passed through this village and about 
ten miles beyond, before the road began the ascent to 
the gap. Here we halted a few moments when I was 
ordered to take about fifty men of my company and 
capture the gap. Away we went up the hill. Soon 
shots were fired at us from the hills on both sides, but 
their shots all went over us. In the gap was about 
a dozen houses. One shot came from a house on our 
left and went through the left hand of Lieutenant 



George N. Butchers who was riding close to my side. 
I halted the column and hollered as loud as I could, 
"If another shot comes from a house for the boys to 
turn and fire into the house nearest them." Not an- 
other shot was fired out of the house. 

Soon after this, word was passed up from the 
rear to look back. There was a man riding as fast 
as he could and motioning me to halt. As we came 
up he gave me an order to come back and join the 
regiment. When I got back I found that Col. Free- 
man Norvall was drunk and that the stafif officers 
had put him in an ambulance. To me it had every 
appearance that he had been invited to take a drink 
from a bottle that had been badly drugged on purpose 
of getting a charge against him. (He resigned when 
he got back to camp.) 

We countermarched back towards our old camp. 
After marching about five miles the column halted. 



An orderly came back to me with orders to come to 
the front with my company. I gave orders to march 
and we started on the run coming up to Lt. CoL Gould. 
I asked what orders. He answered, ''Rebels ahead, 
go for them." We dashed on ahead and soon came 
to a full company standing in the road with their cap- 
tain in command which looked very singular to me. 

I found out that the captain that stood at the top 
of the hill when he saw a few Rebs ahead of him had 
halted and sent word back to Colonel Gould, "Rebels 
ahead, what shall I do?" He was told to resign or 
he would be dismissed for cowardice. 

After passing this company I came to the top of 
a slight decline. At the bottom ran quite a stream 
from the mountain and on the other side was a road 
leading towards the hills. I saw a guard of fifteen or 
twenty rebs, evidently guarding a wagon. 



Away we went after them. Some of the guards 
rode off into the woods and escaped. The wagon and 
about half a dozen of the guards kept on to a big 
plantation about a mile and a half. 

I sent some of my men into a big barn and took 
several to a big straw stack and told them to ride 
around the stack and run their sabers into it up to the 
hilt. Soon a man hollered out, ''Don't run your saber 
in anymore, I'll come out." Soon one of the men 
called out that he had struck something hard. Several 
jumped off their horses and dug out a big chest well 
bound around with iron. Some of our men carried 
an axe with them and soon broke the cover. The 
chest was filled with Confederate money, said to be 
three millions of dollars. I had the boys pass me up 
a hand full and called all of the boys together and 
gave them each a lot. 

I went back to the regiment. Riding up to the 
Colonel I presented the Reb quartermaster and three 



or four other prisoners and several thousand dollars 
of Rebel money. He congratulated me and my suc- 
cess. 

We continued the march for some miles to a plan- 
tation owned by General Asa Rogers who with his 
family had spent several summers with my mother's 
family in Vermont. I went to the Colonel and told 
him of the Rogers and asked him to place a guard 
over the house and all private property. I slept on 
a pile of hay in a barn. In the morning I went to the 
house and told the General who I was, and that his 
house and all his private property had been guarded 
all flight. 

We were soon on the march for our old camp. 
About noon there came up a very bad snow storm. 
W'e continued on for about five miles. Beyond the 
Fairfax court house where we camped for the night. 
Soon tw^o sutlers came out of a camp near our lines 



and stopped near my company. Soon a Corporal said 
they were overcharging the boys. He said if they 
don't stop it, the boys will go for them. I told him 
to be careful. Soon I heard a crash and loud holler- 
ing. Some of the boys said that someone had tipped 
over their wagon and spilled all their pies and cakes. 
Pretty soon there were no pies or cakes to be found. 
Soon a big fat Major who was always brave when 
there were no Reb bullets flying about, came to where 
I was lying and said he believed I had set my men on 
the sutlers. He would prefer charges against me. 
I told him to do his best. Soon the storm blew over. 
I felt my blanket Ufted up. Not a word was said but 
I knew something was left there. I felt and found a 
pie and several cakes. Maybe you think I didn't eat 
them, for I was hungry. 

When we got back to camp I never heard any- 
thing about charges. 

Press of ADOLPH SELZ, Chicago